the specters of winter, every bit
as much as robins, they are the harbingers of spring.
behind the north sides of buildings and sedimentary cars
on lawns, and where the streetplow leaves its mounds
doggish and sheepish, they emerge
like Moses freed from his marble,
precocial: fully formed,
and slowly shrinking away.
diunrnal: running wet at noon,
and freezing still every night.
trashy: sweating gravel, soot, leaf bits,
shopping bags and the paste of paper,
until not much else remains.
and we walk past, trying to ignore them
where they lie, hoping they disappear soon.
but in the afternoon, a bell will ring,
releasing an infantry of nine-year-olds to scatter
and kick them to pieces on their way home.